IMG_38661When we decided on this tour in January, we never imagined we would hit so, so, so,I mean SO many learning curves! OMG! Ok now, let me just say, I am a pretty smart, organized and tough lady, big heart, hard worker, honest to the bone and not afraid of the gypsy life. But sometimes “You just don’t know what you don’t know until you know it!”

For weeks now this is just what you would hear me say, over and over and over. Kind of my way of making “little” of the CRAZY, almost day-to-day hurdles we had encountered, from unpredictable weather, to being moved in our current RV campsite 3 times due to a gentleman refusing to leave his spot. That’s a whole story in itself!

For another thing, I found out that when traveling in Florida in a motorhome with trailer in tow, most Florida RV parks do not allow trailers.  Don’t ask me why. We have never had this happen to us in the 35 states we have traveled. Ok, NOW what the heck do we do?

I tried not to panic the first time I heard this from a nice lady with a southern accent, on the phone, using “mam” in every other word. It added sweetness about getting the bad news but still concerned me. And for about 3 hours after getting many “No Mams”, I honestly didn’t know where we would safely stay. And without getting into all the details of this saga, we managed to make it through. But we got a little bit wrapped up in the constant unsettledness of it all. And honestly, life about overcoming those little darn learning curves you never expect!!!! But when you’re on the open road, driving far away from home in a 32 foot motorhome with a 16 foot art studio in tow, your gypsy soul super powers rise above or you sink! Just traveling is one thing, but when you are touring, it’s an entirely different situation, cuz your livelihood is affected by everything.

Being an artist selling what you make, what you create from your heart and soul, and then traveling across the United States with messages of love and brotherly love when the country is topsy-turvy is a bit like being a pioneer in a shiny covered wagon, mixed with a bit cowgirl with some love guns, gypsy & the best girl scout ever!


The black cloud above usThe kicker that pushed us over the edge was the last Sunday I was wrapping up my last show in Florida, a storm had threaten to obliterate us with water, lightning & wind, all components you really don’t want when doing an outdoor art show. And even though we all stayed positive, the storm hit us and hit us hard. I looked up at the sky and it looked like the clouds where blowing away. PHEW! Then, not 10 minutes later, in a matter of seconds, the storm hit and hit really hard. Katie and I were running around grabbing plastic sheets, original art off the sides of the tent, giclees and print bins, and we were getting soaked to the bone. People were in my booth watching me, trying to help as the rain fell hard, fast & furiously and all I could think was, “I want to go home!” I broke down as I watched several pieces get drenched, including my dress, my shoes, my hair… My daughter held me and I held her as there was nothing more we could do.  Although this pushed me over the edge, the thing you didn’t know about was 5 days prior to this event, our whole East Coast tour was in jeopardy due to the snow storms predicted in the Philadelphia area where we were headed. We had a lot at stake, but acts of God would be the deciding factor for staying in unpredictable Florida or moving to scary snow blizzards in Philadelphia. And so when I watched many of my prints melt away with the storm, all I could do was cry and let go. When all was said and done, our swift rain dance moves saved the majority of the art. We lost about $700.00 worth of prints that day, we gained a toughness that no one can pay good money for.

saving the art from the storn.jpgThe damage is done.jpg

After this we had to tear down the booth and toss out the damaged goods, but the next kicker was, we couldn’t tear down until 9 pm at night… That night we tore down the double booth in the dark, in the cold, wet clothes, skipped dinner and found a place to sleep at a beautiful, guarded truck stop. Waiting and watching the news roll in, being in a holding pattern and so far away from home. Oh yes, and Steve discovered that the trailer had a nail in the tire. The next morning, I woke up at 6am, re-watched several videos on driving RV’s with trailers in the snow, rechecked all the farmers’ almanacs and Weather Underground and looked at all possible Florida art shows as an alternative.

And then it hit me, pancakes always have a way to sooth the soul. So I set the computer aside and with pancakes, bacon, coffee, and eggs, I created a little piece of heaven for our weary hearts! After a good breakfast and a 4 hour meeting we decided to go for it! And so we are driving into the storm with the idea that we can always turn back.

Living the Dream takes work, takes a constant willingness to make it happen, sprinkled with fun along the way, breathing time, a really good purpose and sometimes pancakes!

All the while on this journey/adventure/nationwide art tour to bring more love to the world, you are with me my friends, I love you dearly and together we can make a difference! Behind every black cloud are silver lines, gold sparkles and rainbows!




8 thoughts on “DRIVING INTO THE STORM !

  1. Oh Debbie, your story brought tears to my eyes & I sure felt for you & your family, but I have to tell you how much I love your spirit & how you work your way through every obstacle! Bless you for all you do to make this a better world with love & your beautiful smile…I have met you & Steve many times & you are always kind & caring & I just love your work…take care & stay safe xoxo Lots of love, Lynda Warren


    1. Lynda,
      Thank you for taking the time to write to me. I hope to encourage everyone in their journey. Often times in an artist life these struggles go by the waist side and most stories never get told. I guess after 21 years in the art business, Its time to share. Most times when people walk in my booth they have no idea what it takes just to arrive, let alone move beyond all the stuff in life and going on in the world to paint something so pure and beautiful. I adore you my sweet friend and I thank you for all the times you come into my booth and give me hugs, you have no idea what it does for me!


      1. Debbie, it means so much to me that you take the time to reply to my comments. I remember one time when it was about 95-100 degrees in Montrose, CA & you offered to let me stand in your shade for a while & offered me some water. Your kindness means so much & doesn’t ever go unnoticed. Praying you continue to have a safe journey as you continue to share your beautiful art with the world. I have several quotes taped on my computer desk & they have been there for about 20 years & they remind me of you & your dedication & perserverance. Here is one of my favorite quotes: “Reach high, for stars lie hidden in your soul. Dream deep, for every dream precedes the goal.” This was by Pamela Vault Starr & I have no idea who she is, but I liked what she had to say…I’m so glad that you have followed your heart, as most of us never take a chance to do this. My heart is with rescuing dogs, but it takes time & money. I have the time, but not the money, but I do what I can. Take care my friend & give my love to your family! xo


  2. My heart goes out to you, Steve and Katie. Sometimes when make a decision to follow our “Dream” there seems to be something beyond us that put us to the test to prove how much we are willing to give to make the “Dream” come to fruition. The most important thing is we dare “Dream”. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t and because of who we are, we find the strength and will power to move on to the next “Dream”. That’s who you are my Daughter!!!


    1. Thank you Dad. we are a strong bunch to say the least! I think growth is important in the dream and doing the same thing over & over is not what I am going for but rather to reach a wider audience to expand and spread LOVE thru art in a much bigger way and some how I think we will figure this all out on this 3 1/2 month tour! Being in the RV in close quarters does this ya know. What I like about the struggle is that it defines what we all need and want to a finer point. This has been good in so many ways and the good news is we are breaking through barriers that have held us back for a long time. So barriers and turmoil of the storms, the tornadoes, the snow it is all parallel to the journey! I love you DAD. YOU ARE My ROCK! Your spirit of doing what you believe has always inspired me to great depths!


  3. OK you made me cry.

    I love you and your spirit and toughness. The universe of Gods will repay you love.

    Hugs, and many kisses.

    By the way I too have been on the road and I did spend a short time selling paintings/carpets on parking lots in Florida. I learned to watch the sky and have the timing almost right to get the shit out of the upcoming rain in time. It was part of the drill. It is not fun though to see your precious art get messed up. Not fun!

    OMG! I can feel you and your struggle and jesus we all deserve a break today.!

    Hugs to your loyal hubby and beautiful daughter and I love you so much my little warrior sister.

    It is ALL going to work out in the end. I will make a few phone calls to the gods of gentle weather and prosperity.


    On Thu, Mar 16, 2017 at 9:55 AM, The Heart Artist wrote:

    > Debbie Arambula posted: “When we decided on this tour in January, we never > imagined we would hit so, so, so,I mean SO many learning curves! OMG! Ok > now, let me just say, I am a pretty smart, organized and tough lady, big > heart, hard worker, honest to the bone and not afraid of th” >


    1. I adore you my sweet sister! Together we laugh and cry in our journeys. Living adventurously is the only way for me! And YOU Too my sweet. Hearing you on the phone two days ago changed EVERYTHING FOR me! Your Encouraging words, you loving heart, your stories of adventures… I adore you Heather!


  4. Deb,
    You really love what you do, so keep on keeping on! You’re such a lovely lady with a deep and rich soul, you make so many people happy with the bright and vibrant works of art you create. I wake up every morning to my Poppy giclee we bought from you in Scottsdale last year , or was it two years ago? who’s counting, and yes our gorgeous sunflower pic too that’s in our front hall now, we move it around and it makes us soooo happy. You’re a gygpsy artist extraordinaire! Steve and I send our best wishes for you and Steve and hope the weather gets better asap for you!
    Lori and Steve Schott in Scottsdale


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